PSE 101: Spot Color on a B&W photo

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Ever want to make something really stand out in your photo? Perhaps there’s a crowd, and you want to focus on a particular person. Or maybe, in a busy image, you want to draw attention to just one object. Follow the steps below to easily make one person or item stand out in color on a black & white background.

First, open your photo, and duplicate the layer (Layer>Duplicate Layer).

Then we’ll turn that top layer black and white. Go to Enhance >Convert to Black and White. You’ll get a screen where you can experiment with various settings until you’re happy with the black & white image.

Then choose the Eraser tool on the left, make sure your top, black & white, layer on the right is selected, and zoom in on the person or item you want to highlight.

Set the brush size, at the top, to a proper size for your image, and carefully erase the black & white image of the person or object you’re spotlighting. The color beneath will show through.

When you’re finished, Merge Layers and there you have it: a spot-colored photograph.

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